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Magnus Carlsen vs Valerij Popov
Corus Group C (2004), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 4, Jan-14
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Poisoned Pawn Accepted (B97)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-25-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  MoonlitKnight: A good example of greed being punished. 19...dxc4? was a bad move under time pressure.
Jan-31-04  lostemperor: Also Carlsen adopts Fischer's opening. This opening is becoming fashionable again. Fischer vs Geller, 1967 He deviated with 15. Bd3 which is played only few times.
Jan-31-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  MoonlitKnight: Isn't 15.Be2 stronger, in view of these two games? Bd3 only prevents e4 until Be7 is played, so it would seem like a waste of time.
Jan-31-04  lostemperor: Bd3 has some advantages, I think. Black is sort of forced to do 17...e4 (since white's bishop is looking at the h7 pawn) what weakens its centerpawns constellation.
Jan-31-04  lostemperor: Black hasn't got too many good alternatives for 19...dxc4. Doing 19 ...♖xf1 looks dangerous and takes nerves of steel. Eg. 19... ♖xf1+ 20. ♖xf1 ♗b7 21. cxd5 exd5 (♗xd5 better) 22. ♕f4 ♔d7 23. ♕f7 ♖e8 24. ♗g4+ ♔d8 25. ♕e6 ♔c7 26. ♗f4+ ♗d6 27. ♕d7+.

And 19... ♗xg5 20. ♕xg5 ♕e7 21. ♖xf8+ ♔xf8 22. ♖f1+ ♔e8 23. ♗h5+ g6 24. ♗xg6+ hxg6 25. ♕xg6+ ♔d8 26. ♖f7 is lost

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Sep-10-15  RKnight: Popov gave up the ghost with 25...Kb6. If instead 25...Bd7 26. Qxe7 Qxe7 27. Bxe7, Magnus would be up a B to 3 weak isolated passed pawns and would probably win, but Popov would have some chance.
Aug-09-21  Gaito:


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BLACK TO MOVE

When our own king remains still uncastled in the middle game, the worst thing we could do is to open the position in the centre. That is tantamount to a suicide. Therefore, in principle 19...dxc4?? is a blunder that not even an ordinary coffehouse player would make. Why a grandmaster rated 2537 would make such an awful move is something that beats me, but one possible explanation could be excess of confidence, since his opponent was a thirteen-year old kid. Black had already a bad position in the digram, on account of his lack of development, but after 19...dxc4 his game becomes utterly lost. He could have exchanged bishops or rooks or both.

Aug-09-21  Gaito: As Mr. Sheibel said to that little girl Beth Harmon: "When you have a lost position you resign!". 25...Resigns was the correct move, but 25...Kb6? overlooking that your bishop at c8 is unprotected meant that Black was losing the game AND his dignity. "When you have a lost game you resign!" Better to lose a game than to lose one's dignity.
Aug-09-21  Gaito: 26.Qxc8 was cat-and-mouse play. Of course White could have forced mate in a few moves after 26.Rb1+
Aug-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Nope, apparently not. See Stockfish (other engines are available :-)) which gives 26. Qxc8 as best, with no FORCED mate in sight. Of course, if you've found one...?
Aug-09-21  Gaito: <Dionysius1: Nope, apparently not. See Stockfish (other engines are available :-) which gives 26. Qxc8 as best, with no FORCED mate in sight. Of course, if you've found one...?>

Yes. You can find the forced mate too, but all you need is to use sufficient depth of calculation by the computer. (Use depth 60 or deeper)

26.Rb1+ forces checkmate in a few more moves, according to Stockfish 20210805-1441 at depth 62. (Hardware: 20 CPU core Dual Xeon E5-2680 v2)

The engine gives the following mate in 9 moves:

26.Rb1+! Bb4 (26...Qb4 is equally bad or worse) 27.Qxc8 Rb7 28.Bxc4 e3 29.Be2 (also 29.Qxe6+ forces mate, but it would take a couple moves longer) 29...Ka7 30.Bf3 (mate in 4) 30...Re7 31.Bxe7 (mate in 3) Qc1+ 32.Rxc1 Kb6 33.Rc6+ Ka5 34.Qxa6 mate.

Aug-09-21  Gaito: <Dionysius1: Nope, apparently not. See Stockfish (other engines are available :-) which gives 26. Qxc8 as best, with no FORCED mate in sight. Of course, if you've found one...?>

There is also a forced mate after 26.Qxc8, but according to the computer, it would take three moves longer.

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